|Channel||Digital: 10 (VHF)
(37% owned by NBC Universal, Inc.)
(Norwell Television, LLC)
|First air date||December 6, 1986|
|Callsign meaning||DP Media (former owner)|
|Former callsigns||WRYT (1986-1988)
|Former affiliations||independent (1986-1989)
Pax TV (1998-1999)
Telemundo (2000-2002, as satellite)
|Effective power||11.9 kW|
WWDP is a television station in the United States, serving the Boston, Massachusetts market. The station broadcasts on digital VHF channel 10. It is licensed to Norwell, Massachusetts, airs home shopping programs from ShopNBC, and is owned by ValueVision Media.
WWDP first signed on in late 1986 as WRYT, an independent station. It operated from a tiny 300-foot (91 m) tower in Hanover, Massachusetts broadcasting at only 6,000 watts—the minimum amount for a full-power station. All of the equipment—two tape decks, a mixer, a primitive character generator, a satellite receiver and an Emergency Broadcast System unit—was located in an old video store bathroom.
On February 4, 1988 the station changed its calls to WHRC. Two months later, it began broadcasting from a considerably better broadcast facility in Brockton. Its 952,000-watt ERP gave it fairly decent coverage of the southern fringe of Greater Boston, and it had also managed to get on cable throughout the metropolitan area. However, the antenna was somewhat heavier than normal, and the owners feared that the tower couldn't handle the weight of ice buildup. It was thus forced to go off the air while a new site was found.
In January 1989, WHRC returned to the air from a transmitter in Foxborough, with considerably reduced power (501,000 watts). Unfortunately, the site was not wired for three-phase power, as is usually the case with television transmitters. WHRC was forced to make do with diesel power, which was totally inadequate for a television transmitter. Two of the transmitter's three diesel generators had failed by the spring of 1989, leaving WHRC unable to broadcast in color for half the time. The station had never been on good financial ground, and the technical problems only made things worse.
By June, the owner had stopped paying syndicators, the diesel fuel supplier and other creditors, and the employees' paychecks were bouncing. Finally, in September, the diesel fuel supplier refused to deliver any more fuel. As a result, the lone remaining generator used up its last bit of fuel at 1:13 pm on September 19, 1989. At the time, many of the employees had not been paid for eight weeks.
Paxson Communications bought the WHRC license in December 1996, and returned channel 46 to the air with the informercial format from their inTV network that was already in place on the company's other stations. On January 13, 1998, the station became WBPX, in anticipation of the impending launch of the Pax TV network. It also added a (short-lived) local newscast. It continued to air infomercials until August 31 of that year, when Pax launched, with channel 46 as a charter affiliate.
In 1999, WBPX gave up its callsign and Pax affiliation to Paxson's newest acquisition, then-independent station WABU. Paxson sold the station to DP Media (named for Devon Paxson, brother of Bud Paxson), which changed the call sign to WWDP (for DP Media) and returned to inTV. After just one year with that format, ZGS Communications began operating WWDP under a local marketing agreement, running it as a full-powered repeater of Telemundo affiliate WTMU-LP.
On July 1, 2002, WWDP dropped the WTMU simulcast, switching to the America's Collectibles Network home shopping network. However, a few months later, WNEU was purchased by NBC to convert it to a full-power satellite of WTMU. As a result, ValueVision Media bought WWDP in 2003 and picked up ShopNBC (which had previously been seen on WNEU), which remains on the station to this day.
In December 2008 WWDP silenced its digital signal, which was being broadcast over channel 52, in order to replace that antenna with a new one for channel 10, which is to be its post-transition home. However, WWDP can not start broadcasting on channel 10 until after the transition, since that is the home of WJAR-TV's analog channel. As a result, WWDP will not have a digital signal until June 12, 2009 at the earliest.